NV -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 04/05/2005 -- Altair Nanotechnologies,
Inc. (NASDAQ: ALTI), a developer and manufacturer
of innovative advanced ceramic nanomaterial products,
today announced that it has signed a binding memorandum
of understanding with Bateman Engineering BV to form
a strategic joint venture. The new venture, "Altairnano-Bateman
Titania, Inc." will leverage Altair's proprietary
and patented titanium dioxide (TiO2) pigment manufacturing
process and Bateman's engineering expertise to focus
on the worldwide development and manufacture of pigment
products and services. Altairnano-Bateman Titania
will be a U.S.-based company, headquartered in Nevada.
"We are now in
comprehensive discussions with prospective customers
located in Africa, the Pacific Rim and North America,"
commented Altair Chief Executive Officer Dr. Alan
J. Gotcher. "They are demanding a complete service
from raw material qualification through plant design,
construction and commissioning. Altair and Bateman
have teamed together to meet these requirements."
of Altairnano-Bateman Titania will play a pivotal
role for Altair to move from feasibility to plant
design and construction," said Dr. Gotcher. "The
joint venture is part of the execution of our business
strategy -- which is for Altair to out-license its
AHPP technology platform for the manufacturing of
titanium dioxide pigment in return for a royalty on
product sales. The pigment industry in emerging growth
countries is underserved. The $9 billion industry,
with an annual growth rate of approximately three
percent, boasts an almost 13 percent annual growth
rate in emerging growth countries as their needs for
paint, plastics and paper increase. If the venture
is successful, the combination of the licensing of
our AHPP process combined with Bateman's ability to
engineer and manufacture the production facilities
has the potential to generate significant revenue
streams for both companies."
Altair brings the
technical resources and manufacturing process technology,
and Bateman brings its worldwide recognized expertise
in chemical manufacturing plant design and project
management. Of particular relevance to the potential
customers of Altair's process is Bateman's reputation
for providing high value added services including
close ties to major project funding sources.
The joint venture
will be funded entirely by Altair and Bateman, with
each having equal shareholding and voting control.
The joint venture company's objective is to deliver
services to clients including feasibility work, design,
construction, commissioning and potentially the operation
of mineral processing or pigment manufacturing plants.
Altairnano-Bateman Titania will be jointly managed,
with the board of directors comprising members from
"We are pleased
to announce this new strategic relationship with Altair,"
said, Stephen F. Burks, Chief Technology Officer of
Bateman Engineering. "We are seeing tremendous
demand from emerging countries, who aim to shift their
business model from that of importers of pigment to
one of manufacturing and potentially exportation.
Altair's unique, environmentally-friendly process
is a perfect complement to our implementation capabilities
as we strive to serve this unmet need."
Bateman is recognized
as an international leader in both engineering and
finance circles for its expertise in the execution
of feasibility work and the design, construction,
and commissioning of mineral processing plants. They
reported revenues of approximately US$ 317 million
in 2002, the last year as a publicly listed company,
representing a 23 percent growth over 2001.
The Altair Hydrochloride
Pigment Process (AHPP) is the first new, commercially
viable pigment production process in nearly half a
century delivering a cost effective, environmentally
friendly method to manufacture pigment -- a $9 billion
a year worldwide market. The Altair Process enables
existing pigment producers, as well as those companies
wishing to enter the market, a licensable technology
providing the manufacturers control over the cost
of the pigment. The Altair Process is receiving wide
attention, especially in the emerging economies of
the world. Attractive to these geographies is the
fact that the Altair Process may be economic for smaller
quantity plants (for example 30,000 tons a year) unlike
previous generation processes. This feature also provides
appeal to specialist pigment producers.
Titanium dioxide is
the most widely used white pigment in the world. Coatings,
plastics, ceramics, inks, and fibers all depend on
white pigments to impart color and opacity. This is
accomplished either as part of a surface coating such
as in paints or by incorporation into the materials
themselves such as in plastics or fibers. The total
market for titanium dioxide pigment is over 3,500,000
metric tons per year with an annual market value of
approximately $9 billion.
The Altair Hydrochloride
Pigment Process (AHPP)
AHPP technology is a comprehensive process for producing
white titanium dioxide pigment from a variety of feedstocks
including hard rock ilmenite ore. It includes a novel
combination of processes that extract, purify and
form high quality white titanium dioxide pigment.
Distinctive features of the process include projected
lower operating costs, minimized environmental and
health risks and the recycling of all the chemical
additives used in the process. Companies such as Western
Oil Sands are already utilizing Altair's Hydrochloride
Pigment Process on a feasibility basis to extract
heavy minerals from oil sands in Alberta, Canada and
produce titanium dioxide pigment.
Bateman is an innovative
solutions provider to the natural-resources industry
internationally, providing a comprehensive blend of
skills comprising process-orientated engineering,
specialist niche technologies, financial and commercial
facilitation and contracting and project management.
It operates under the Bateman banner, providing total
solutions for the conversion of natural resources
into marketable products. Bateman has been involved
in a number of beach sands and hard rock projects
and studies involving the upgrade of ilmenite and
other minerals, since 1991. Work has been done for
several well known mining companies in that time,
including Anglo American, Kumba Resources and WMC.
Currently, Bateman is involved in a US$220 million
lump sum turnkey contract for the Moma mineral sands
project in Mozambique on behalf of Kenmare Resources.
For more information, visit www.batemanbv.com.
through product innovation, is a leading supplier
of advanced ceramic nanomaterial technology worldwide.
Altair Nanotechnologies has assembled a unique team
of material scientists which, coupled with collaborative
ventures with industry partners and leading academic
centers, has pioneered an impressive array of intellectual
property and product achievements.
has developed robust proprietary technology platforms
for manufacturing a variety of crystalline and non-crystalline
nanomaterials of unique structure, performance, quality
and cost. The company has a scalable manufacturing
capability to meet emerging nanomaterials demands,
with capacity today to produce hundreds of tons of
The company is organized
into two divisions: Life Sciences and Performance
Materials. The Life Sciences Division is pursuing
market applications in pharmaceuticals, drug delivery,
dental materials, cosmetics and other medical markets.
The Performance Materials Division is pursuing market
applications in Advanced Materials for paints and
coatings; titanium metal manufacturing, catalysts
and water treatment; and alternative energy. For additional
information on Altair and its nanomaterials, visit
Inc.®, Altair Nanomaterials™, Altairnano™, TiNano®,
RenaZorb™, NanoCheck™, TiNano Spheres™ and the Hydrochloride
Pigment Process™ are trademarks or registered trademarks
of Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc.
For Additional Bateman
Stephen F. Burks
For Additional Altair
Marty Tullio or Mark Tullio
McCloud Communications, LLC